DPM Hanley commissions new fire appliance to RLB International Airport fleet

On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Geoffrey Hanley commissioned a new fire appliance that now joins the previous fleet of three which service the Robert L. Bradshaw (RLB) International Airport’s Fire Hall. 

The state-of-the-art 6×6 Rosenbauer Panther was purchased from Austria through regional agent Indocom Ltd. which is based in Trinidad and Tobago. 

“It was built to standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and carries a capacity of 3,000 gallons of water, 400 gallons of foam and 500 pounds of dry chemical. The addition of this new truck places the RLB International Airport above the Category nine rating,” a press statement said.

According to the ICAO, there are ten rating positions – ten being the best possible ranking – for rescue and fire fighting services provided at an aerodrome which are specifically dedicated to the support of safety in aircraft operation.

“To meet the requirements of the Aircraft Category for Fire Fighting, it is necessary for the aerodrome to have a declared minimum fire fighting capacity measured on the basis of the number of available vehicles and their foam production capability. The number and type of firefighting vehicles / appliances based at an airport will be determined by the normally declared category of the airport,” the ICAO explains on its website.

DPM Dr. Hanley said the addition of the new fire appliance demonstrated the Dr. Terrance Drew-led government’s commitment to enhance the capabilities of the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS).

“The acquisition of this new fire truck signals to the international airlines that our airport is fully equipped to respond to aircraft emergencies,” he stated. “Indeed, as we build out our airport infrastructure to accommodate increased flights to St. Kitts and Nevis, there must be a concomitant development of our firefighting capabilities. This truck also provides ground support for fuel spills or even at times can respond to off airport emergencies as well.”

Dr. Hanley also noted that SKNFRS officers have received training that will allow them to use the new fire appliance optimally.

“The training that they have undergone involved learning to effectively operate the new truck and equipment in the event of rescuing and saving lives. I would like to commend our Panther Technician, Fire Substation Officer Julio Williams, along with Station Officer Tito Rosmond, who were part of the team who travelled to Austria,” said Dr. Hanley.

Dr. Hanley was performing duties as acting prime minister as Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew was out of the country on official business attending the 2024 Global Sustainable Islands Summit in Prince Edward Island, Canada.


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